Monday, November 30, 2009


Today I finished the 9-week Couch to 5K program. What a sense of achievement. I don't think I have ever committed to a workout and seen it to completion. I am proud of myself. My time sucks, but I know it will get better. That is what I am going to work on now, my speed. I also need to find the motivation to do weights. I have always liked cardio, but not running. And while I still have a love/hate relationship with running, I do like seeing the progress. Now I have to find a way to get that out of lifting weights.

On top of completing the program, I am also down 6 pounds since the beginning of October. 15 more pounds to go.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is Thanksgiving 2009 and this year I have sooo much to be thankful for. This year in June I married the man of my dreams. It was perfect day and a perfect wedding and I would not change one thing about it. Also this year the Hubs was shot on the job. At the time we had only been married for 1 month and it was the day before his birthday. Definitely not how I thought I would spend that day and not something that I ever thought would happen. But thankfully it turned out ok. No permanent damage done. But that day showed me how fragile life can be and to appreciate every day that is given to you. Based on those two things alone I have lots to be thankful for.

Even though my family thinks I am not family oriented, I really am. It is just that I am slightly introverted, or maybe very, and I need periods of recuperation from my large, loud, loving family. Anywho, I love that my family is always there for each other. When times get rough, we drop everything and gravitate together. Unfortunately we have had to pull together in times of bad to frequently this lately...the loss of a parent (love you Aunt Janice), a shooting, others being rushed to the hospital, and just having too much on your plate and needing a break. But every time we are there for each other and there is not greater feeling. I am truly thankful to have my family.

Every day remember to give thanks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Recipe of the Week - Cheddar Corn Chowder

It's that time again. Recipe of the Week. I have to admit I am starting to like cooking these recipes. Well, I guess that is if the Hubs like them. But so far I have had only one fail. So far, so good.

This week I decided to make corn chowder. Perfect for tonight because it is rainy outside. So nothing like a good, hearty chowder. The smell is amazing. I am actually still in the process of cooking. Right now I am letting the potatoes get tender.

I got the recipe from Proceed with Caution. You can probably see that I LOVE this blog. I did modify it a little, making it vegetarian.

Cheddar Corn Chowder

2 Tablespoons good olive oil (I don't know what that means, just used what I had)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (1 large onion) - (I only used 1 cup, not big on onions)
1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric (I didn't have this so I left it out)
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
3 cups chicken stock (I used vegetable stock and used 3.5 cups)
3 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (1 pounds) (I used 4 cups)
5 cups corn kernels, fresh (5 ears) or frozen (1.5 pounds) (I used 2 lbs. of frozen organic corn)
1/2 cup 2% milk (I used plain soy milk)
2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated


In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, old bay and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender (it may take longer, I just let them simmer).

If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the milk and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Note: After I added the corn I decided to add some more vegetable stock. So I used a total of 4 cups of vegetable stock. I also added some extra Old Bay, salt, and pepper for the added ingredients. Also the Hubs is going to add some chicken strips to his, so he will have chicken and corn chowder.

And the verdict is....Yummy.

If I make this again i would add more vegetables, celery, carrots, red pepper maybe. It would give more flavor.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Repercussions of being a Slacker

Well I got motivated enough to go to the gym today. It has been a while, maybe a week. I could definitely tell that I had not been in the gym in a while. I did W8D3 of the C25K program. Um, there are only 9 weeks of this program so I am very close to the end. Yeah, I was dying. I did it, but I did not look like someone who has run this distance twice. Needless to say I will be doing this distance again and then attempting week 9.

It is sad how quickly your body reverts to slackdom. Absolutely ridiculous. The way I felt tonight in the gym has motivated me though. I know I need to get in there or do some other form of physical exercise at least 3 times a week. I just want to finish this 5K program and be able to run it without walking at all. Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Slacker, Underachiever

These are words I used to use for my brother all the time when he was in school. (In the most loving way possible of course.) He was just content with getting a B in school without studying instead of studying and getting an A. How are we related?

Well now, that is me. I am in grad school and I am just not motivated. This is so not like me. If I get a B in this class, which is where I am headed, I am going to be so upset. But I cannot muster up the energy or effort to get that A.

On top of that I have been slacking on working out. I was so motivated last month with the Rocktober Challenge. But now, I don't even know what happened. I think I have worked out once this week. I am definitely working out today, so that would be twice. But I am definitely not doing what I want to be. I could make excuses, like the weather sucks right now and I just don't want to leave the house when I don't have to. That statement is true, but it is just an excuse. I have to somehow find that motivation I had last month. Oh motivation.....where are you???

I refuse to let this one bad week curtail my fitness goals. In the past, one week of no exercise would turn into months of no exercise. Not this time. Not gonna happen. I am gonna get up and do it.

That is gonna be my mantra, just get up and do it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Recipe of the Week - Sea Scallops

The Hubs has tried several times to make scallops and the results have been....well, not good. He had given up on them. So the last time we went to the wharf we got a pound of scallops for me to give it a go.

I got the recipe from the Food Network.

16 medium diver scallops, cleaned
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for searing
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups field greens

In a medium bowl, marinate the scallops with olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Let them marinate for 20 minutes.

Heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallops. Cook quickly in each side until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and place 4 scallops around a mound of greens. Repeat.

I did not use the field greens and just made the scallops.

I figured out what the Hubs was doing wrong each time he made scallops. He was using waaaay too much oil, well in his case butter. (I am trying to get him out of that unhealthy habit).

If I made this recipe again I would not add the salt, but other than that they were very good. Yeah, because we both love scallops.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Recipe of the Week - Black Bean Enchiladas

So last weeks recipe was a fail, for the Hubs anyway. I liked it and ate leftovers a couple of times. So this week I was trying to be positive and continue on with my quest in becoming a domestic goddess. A healthy one at that.

I found this recipe on Annie Eats and modified it a little.

Here is my adapted recipe.

Black Bean Enchiladas

For Black Bean filling:

  • 2 cans organic black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 tsp. EVOO

  • 1/4 c. chopped onions (I am not an onion person)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 c. corn kernels (I wanted to use the whole can)

  • 1 c. pico de Gallo (recipe below)

  • 2 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1 tsp. chili powder

  • 1 c . Reduced Fat Mexican Cheese

Side Note: Tasted the filling and it is so freakin good. If the Hubs doesn't like this something is wrong with him.

For the enchiladas:

  • Black Bean filling (from above)

  • 6-8 Whole Wheat tortillas

  • Enchilada sauce (recipe below)


To make the black bean filling, place the black beans in a medium sized mixing bowl. Partially mash the beans. In a medium sized skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Mix beans, corn, pico de Gallo, cumin, and chili powder into the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, mix in cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Grease a 9×13” baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°. To make the enchiladas, spoon some of the black bean mixture down the center of a tortilla. Fold sides over the filling and roll up. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bake 2-3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Recipe for Pico de Gallo (adapted from Proceed with Caution):

  • 5 plum tomatoes, diced

  • 6-oz. of pickled jalapenos (I didn't use the whole can, I thought it might be too hot for us.)

  • 1/4 of a sweet onion (Again, not an onion person.)

  • 1 to 1.5 c fresh cilantro

  • 1 to 2 avocados

  • juice of 4 limes

Combine all ingredients except avocado and lime juice in a large bowl and refrigerate at least one hour. Dice avocado(s) and add to the bowl, along with the lime juice. Toss together and let sit for 15 minutes.

Side Note: Can I tell you this is so good. And there was some left over. Future plans for this, whole wheat tortilla chips. Yum!

Also in an attempt to be more healthy I made my own enchilada sauce. I got the recipe from here. Of course I modified it a little, trying to be more healthy.

Easy Enchilada Sauce

  • 3 tsp. EVOO

  • 1 tbsp. whole wheat flour

  • 1/4 c. chili powder

  • 2 c. organic vegetable stock

  • 10-oz. tomato paste

  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin


In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings. Serve atop your favorite enchiladas.

And the verdict is...Pass. The Hubs loved it. He said it was the best meal I have ever made. So for new recipes my record is 2-1. I will definitely be making this meal again. Now to find my recipe for next week...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Review - Homeade Laundry Detergent

I have been using my homeade liquid laundry detergent for a couple of weeks now. So what do I think? I love the stuff. I did make too much of it. That was my fault for not fully reading the directions. It was very easy to make just too much. I was trying to keep it in the pot until I needed it, but the Hubs made me throw it out. It is very cheap to make so he said I was not wasting that much money. So ok I threw it out.

I did make some modifications though. I could not find the Dr. Bronner's Mild Baby Soap, so I used Burt's Bees soap, no fragrance. The mildest I could find. I cannot remember the actual name of it. Also, I think the recipe said to use 1/4 c for each load and I felt I needed WAY more than that. I used 1-1.5 c per load. So out of the 4 quarts of detergent I kept (the recipe made 10 quarts I think) I got 18-20 loads of laundry.

One positive I did have from this is our clothes smell great. The other night I was laying next to the Hubs and his shirt smelled so good. I love the smell of fresh laundry.

This time I am going to try dry detergent.

Here is the recipe I am going to use (modified from The Good Wife):

1 bar of soap (I will be using the Burt's Bees again. It is easier to find)
1c borax
1c baking soda
1c washing soda

Each load will use 2tsp. of detergent. I might cut this recipe down just in case we do not like it, but I have heard nothing but positives.

I will let the Hubs decide which he likes best and that is the one I will use.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rocktober Challenge/ Holiday Challenge

So I finally weighed myself. My weight seems to go up and down, so I can be positive, but I think I lost 4 pounds doing the Rocktober Challenge. If that is true, I am amazed. So now the hard part...keeping it off.

I am starting a new challenge for the rest of the year. It is based on a points system and the person at the end with the most points wins bragging rights. I am not starting off too good. I think I was a little burned out from working out 29 out of 31 days. But so far this week I have only worked out once. It is only Tuesday, so I have some time to recover, but that is not good. Fortunately for me working out is not the only way to get points.

There are points for eating home cooked meals, drinking enough water, wearing sunblock, not drinking alcohol, etc. This is more of a total body challenge as opposed to just fitness. The truth is I do not care if I win or not. I am the least competitive person I know. But somehow these challenges inspire me. I like having other people to be accountable to, not just myself.

In other fitness goals, I have 2 more weeks of the C25K program. Other people said that week 5 was the hardest and that is when the majority of people quit, but I am starting to have my difficulty now at week 8. It is definitely mental, but I cannot seem to be able to run more than 2.5 miles. I think I may be going too fast in the beginning and am burning out. So tomorrow when I go to run I am going to start off slower. I also learned that I need to listen to slower music in the beginning of my run. It helps with my breathing. So I am going to try to rearrange songs on my iPod and see if that helps as well. I am not going to give up though. I am going to complete this program and run in a 5K when I am done. That is my goal. And I would like to lose 20 more pounds. That is my ultimate goal.

So what I am going to work on for this month - eating correctly. I think I need to invest in a food scale because I think I eat healthy the majority of the time, but maybe my portions are too big. I am not a calorie counter at all so I will have to see how this works. I think I am also going to try to cut out carbs after lunch. Being a vegetarian I think this is going to be a little hard because that is where I get my filling food, but I am going to have to find alternatives.

So that is the plan.